After three weeks of persistent rain, Warwick were delighted to get the go ahead for their first match of the outdoor season against Oxford in Abingdon. While Oxford’s litter of experienced players ensured an 85 run victory against the visitors, the scorecard didn’t tell the whole story.
Warwick put Oxford to the test in the first innings, with captain Isobel Ralph claiming the prized wicket of Vanessa Picker in the first over with an LBW. Oxford struggled to find their ground as Emma Radley’s impressive three-wicket haul restricted the hosts to 67-4 after 12 overs.
Excellent performances in the field weren’t enough to stop the Oxford batters, who started to pile on the runs. Maple (43 not out) and Floride (47) batted watchfully and punished any loose deliveries to turn the game to their advantage. Warwick struggled to pick up further wickets as Oxford raced ahead in the second half of the innings, finishing on 182-5.
In the second innings, Ralph (35) and Nafeesa Aziz (18) impressed with the bat but the pitch offered plenty to the bowlers at Abingdon Vale Cricket Club. Hannah Sutton was the pick of the hosts’ bowlers, as her spin proved to be brutal. Sutton conceded only 11 runs in six overs, dismissing two players in the process.
Warwick made a valiant effort against the highly experienced players of Oxford University, comprising some superb boundaries. Considering it was the first or second outdoor hard ball game for many of the team, Warwick’s final score of 97-9 was very commendable.
For Warwick, the match was a great success; every player had the opportunity to bowl and bat on a beautiful day of sunshine
Having never played a hard ball match in my life, I was particularly nervous. You can imagine the joy I felt being greeted with 95km/h balls from one of Oxford’s fastest bowlers – I didn’t last long.
It wasn’t just about the score though. For Warwick, the match was a great success; every player had the opportunity to bowl and bat on a beautiful day of sunshine. The team also welcomed in new players, including wicketkeeper Amy Spry who was stellar with the gloves.
Yes, Oxford secured the win, but Annie O’Gorman ensured UOWWCC got the last laugh with an exquisite off-drive for four on the last ball. Warwick is certainly not done yet, and the team will look improve from here.
Warwick captain Isobel Ralph: “It was great to have our first competitive game against a welcoming Oxford on another beautiful ground. With parents and supporters looking on, everyone got to bat and bowl – for many, it was their first time under the pressure of a BUCS game. We can’t wait to play lots more games to get us through the exam season!”
Warwick’s next match is against Cambridge University on 2 June (Home). Spectators are welcome!